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Bill O'Brien: Johnny Manziel can succeed from pocket in NFL

Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien sees the same scrambling brilliance as anyone else when he watches film of former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, but he sees something else that not every scouting report gives Manziel credit for: the ability to succeed from the pocket.

O'Brien was asked about Manziel at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando on Tuesday, and he didn't sound like a coach prepared to write Manziel off as a hopeless scrambler.

"If you watch some of his games, obviously he's a very exciting player when he breaks the pocket and he runs," O'Brien said, according to "But if you watch the Ole Miss game -- I think something happened to him; he got injured, hurt his ankle or something -- he came back, and he threw from the pocket in that game. If you watch him, he's going to be able to do a lot of different things. It's sustainable."

Manziel actually tweaked his left knee in that game, which came on the road against the Rebels last October, but O'Brien's point was well made. Manziel completed 31 of 39 passes for 346 yards in a 41-38 thriller, a road comeback win for the Aggies. Although Manziel rushed for 124 yards in the game, most of his throws were from the pocket as he picked on a thin Ole Miss secondary.

O'Brien favored conventional pocket passers during his time at Penn State, something that has led analysts to believe Manziel wouldn't be well suited to lead his offense, but O'Brien tried to dispel that notion.

"We don't have a certain type," he said. "We want a guy that's accountable. A good character guy."

Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer made similar remarks about Manziel, saying his primary concern in evaluating him is not ability or playing style but leadership and maturity.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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